Phishing scams: a cybercrime challenge
Cybercriminals use phishing scams to steal money and valuable business data. Phishing scams can quickly adapt to current events to maximise their chances of pulling people in. Euro...Read More
Later this month, Euroconsumers and its Portuguese member organisation Deco Proteste will host the fourth annual Global Anti Scams Summit on the 18-19th October in Lisbon, organized by the Global Anti Scam Alliance.
This major gathering will see big tech platforms, inter-governmental agencies, police enforcers, cybersecurity hubs, academics and consumer organizations come together to strategize ways to turn the tide on online consumer scams.
According to GASA, 300 million consumers across the world reported scams in 2021, with a total loss of almost $55 billion. Given that scams mostly go unreported, the actual number of cases are likely to be much higher, at present only between 3% and 17% of victims alert authorities.
Typical online scams include: phishing for personal information to commit identity fraud; romance scams; investment scams particularly in cryptoassets; sms messages that infect phones with malware and steal data; shopping scams were no goods ever turn up and even charity scams which exploit people’s willingness to donate to humanitarian causes.
Currently, a sophisticated fraud ecosystem cuts across all layers of the web including social media, search, ISPs, finance and e-commerce. Techniques and types of scam can quickly morph to link up to current events or personal circumstances and tap into people’s vulnerabilities. Online scams are becoming endemic and cybercriminals have a free run at consumers.
“Only together can we empower consumers and improve digital markets by keeping the system safe from fraudsters and scammers. It’s unbelievable that this criminal activity has been able to proliferate for so long.
That’s why Euroconsumers and our member Deco Proteste are so committed to bringing together the right people at the right time to put plans into action for a safe, scam-free digital market”
Els Bruggeman, Head of Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers
A sustained, joint effort from digital players, government and law enforcement is the only thing that will make it possible to turn the tide.
At the 2022 summit, over a thousand delegates came together to create Ten Recommendations for action needed to free consumers from the tyranny of online scams. These included consumer-focused support like joined up victim support, simpler, national-level one stop reporting as well as raising awareness.
More co-operation between countries was also on the list. Fraud is commonly carried out from another jurisdiction, making tracing and prosecuting very difficult. Greater data sharing and common reporting frameworks were amongst the recommendations, as well as setting up an international scam investigation and prosecution network.
The 2023 summit is all about putting these recommendations into action. Across the two days, over 90 speakers will take part in 22 sessions, all designed to create actionable plans to take away. Tracks dedicated to each challenge area will be designed to define solutions and commitments to action.
Euroconsumers will also host two dedicated panel sessions over the summit: Setting up cross-organisational victim support and one on best practice in Raising Consumer Awareness.
Speakers include representatives from: Google, Amazon, Meta, United Nations, Santander and ING bank, the FBI as well as police from Belgium, Netherlands and Singapore, and internet bodies like ICANN. Officials from law enforcement and government agencies from Asia, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Americas will also participate alongside experts from national cybersecurity hubs and specialists in consumer behaviour and protection.